Barna: Most American Christians Do Not Believe that Satan or the Holy Spirit Exist

Did you read Barna’s latest research this morning? Fresh off the virtual press – check it out: Most American Christians Do Not Believe that Satan or the Holy Spirit Exist.

According to Barna, six out of ten Christians in the United States believe that Satan is not a real entity, rather a symbol of evil. In addition to that, tens of millions of American Christians believe Jesus Christ sinned while he was on earth.

Even more than that don’t believe the Holy Spirit to be a real, living entity. Rather, like Satan, most Christians in America believe the Holy Spirit to simply be a symbol of God’s power.

Most people - including Christians – are ignorant when it comes to basic biblical teaching.

It’s not that American Christians don’t have a high view of Scripture – according to Barna a  “slight majority of Christians (55%) strongly agree that the Bible is accurate in all of the principles it teaches, with another 18% agreeing somewhat. About one out of five either disagree strongly (9%) or somewhat (13%) with this statement, and 5% aren’t sure what to believe.”

While most Christians in the United States claim the Bible is God’s word, they disagree with core Christian doctrines.

Why do you think this is?

I’m going to ponder this, and answer that question in another post.

By the way, if you’re a church leader and aren’t signed up to receive Barna’s montly electronic newsletter, you ought to be. Sign up here – it’s well-worth it!

Blessings from San Francisco :)

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6 thoughts on “Barna: Most American Christians Do Not Believe that Satan or the Holy Spirit Exist

  1. preacherman says:

    I want to thank you so much for this important and great post on a topic I think that needs addressing. I hope Barna’s is wrong. I pray Barna’s study and research is wrong. God help us if it is!!! I saw a debate at Mar Hill Church on the existance of Satan. It is amazing how many people don’t believe in the existance of satan but believe in evil. Many believe it is hard to put faith in a talking serpant and the way the Bible explains the devil. I think if you don’t believe in the devil it is easy not to believe in the Holy Spirit as well. I mean how can believe that a ghostly thing lives within them. Sad. Yes! We must address the reality of both!!!! I have do believe in both and believe that believers, true followers of Jesus Christ must believe in both. We must believe the word of God. I could go on and on but maybe later for time sake. I just pray that people will open their eyes to the TRUTH because the TRUTH will set them free!!!! :-)

  2. Really? says:

    I agree the study is wrong. There is no way that 55% of American Christians are buying 100% of the bible.

    I don’t know any person, nor have I ever met a single person, who follows every rule in Leviticus. In fact, some only remember one of them, about man laying with man. How conveniently they forget all the others.

    There is a reason that nobody is following the laws in Leviticus anymore. They no longer apply because the book is CLEARLY written as a series of stories meant to explain what couldn’t be explained and to control a population that didn’t have medicine or an understanding of basic health and hygene issues.

    We are a curious creature. We want to know why. In absence of science, we make up stories.

    If you kiss your wife or husband during a day where you also went to the bathroom, then you are sinning, according to the bible.

    If you work on Sunday, you are sinning.

    If you wear two types of material on your body, you are sinning.

    There’s lots more. Do you follow ALL of them or do you pick and choose which of “gods” laws you want to obey?

    I don’t mind those that are truly following all the rules. It’s those that cherry pick through the bible for a convenient phrase to support their own personal (Not GOD’S) point of view. This is most of them nowadays and they leave me feeling very nervous, because they are the worst of the worst. Hypocrits. They will SAY they believe, but they don’t practice it.

  3. K. Rex Butts says:

    Wes, do you have the links to those hits calling me a “false teacher.” I want to read what they say so I can humor myself some.

    Grace and peace,

    Rex

  4. WesWoodell says:

    Hi there ‘Really?’ Thanks for stopping by the blog.

    I just have a few minutes here, but you might be interested to know that the Bible teaches in the New Testament those old Levitical laws followed by the Jews came to an end with Jesus’ death.

    Colossians 2:13b-14
    13b … He forgave us all our sins,
    14 having canceled the written code, with its regulations, that was against us and that stood opposed to us; he took it away, nailing it to the cross.
    (NIV)

    In Christian teaching, when Jesus died on the cross the “Old Covenant” was fulfilled making way for the “New Covenant.”

    2 Corinthians 3 and Jeremiah 31:31-36 have quite a bit to say about the difference between the Old and New Covenants.

    I’m no expert on the subject, but do know the Bible says many of those old laws in Leviticus no longer apply. The PRINCIPLES still apply (i.e. its a sin to murder, rape, lie, be sexually immoral, etc.), but carrying out those principles today may look a little different than it did 4,000 years ago.

    You’re smart to have picked up on the things you have though. :)

  5. Brian says:

    Judging by the people I know I think that is pretty accurate. Maybe I just happen to know a lot of nominal christians who treat religion as some sort of club.

  6. [...] Believe Satan or the Holy Spirit Exist - Why??? Jump to Comments A few days ago in this post I shared some alarming numbers from the latest Barna Study. This new study further corroborates [...]

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